Body of Blackstock Man Found in Wreckage of Crashed Truck

BLACKSTOCK – The wreckage of a 2003 Toyota Tundra pickup truck was discovered early Sunday morning by a newspaper delivery driver traveling on his route on Heritage Road in Blackstock. Trapped inside the crashed vehicle was the body of 43-year-old Keith Lane Earl of 3783 Mountain Gap Road, Blackstock.

Fairfield County Coroner Barkley Ramsey said Earl had been traveling west on Heritage Road, returning home from his girlfriend’s house at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, when his Tundra veered off the right side of the road, approximately a quarter-mile from the intersection of Heritage Road and State Road 901 (Mountain Gap Road). Earl over-corrected, Ramsey said, sending the truck across the roadway and off the left-hand side of the road where the vehicle overturned, pinning Earl inside. The crash was not discovered until nearly 5:30 a.m., Ramsey said, because of the isolated nature of Heritage Road.

“It’s a country road out in the middle of nowhere,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said it was unlikely that an earlier discovery of the wreck would have saved Earl’s life, and the Coroner estimated the time of death as concurrent with the time of the crash, at approximately 2 a.m. Earl had suffered massive head trauma as a result of the crash, Ramsey said.  The S.C. Highway Patrol said Earl was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, which remains under investigation. Ramsey said Monday that alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the wreck and results from Earl’s autopsy were still pending at press time.